There’s a dynamic, innovative, positive aspect to the Barack Obama for President campaign that I never heard of before I bumped into it this morning. It’s called ObamaWorks.
ObamaWorks encourages people to get involved in the campaign of Barack Obama for President, but also to get involved in improving their communities through concrete, hands-on volunteering. For example, in Minneapolis, an ObamaWorks group went into a riverfront park and cleaned it up, taking away all the trash that had washed up over the winter along the shore.
That effort has been repeated again and again in communities from California to Connecticut, as ObamaWorks volunteers expend energy to do more than just promote their candidate of choice. They’re working for their neighbors’ benefit as well.
So, why is it that when I search Google News, I see that not a single journalist has bothered to write about this growing volunteer organization? Why, instead, do we have Associated Press articles syndicated nationally to local newspapers, covering the same old stories of campaign nitpicking over and over and over again?
Part of the explanation has to do with the very small budgets that local newspapers are now working with. They don’t have very many people to cover local news anymore, so more and more space is taken up by the same Associated Press material that everyone else reads everywhere else across America.
Independent web sites can pick up the ball that the traditional news infrastructure has dropped. Collectively, we can report on the uncovered and yet inspiring aspects of the 2008 presidential campaign, instead of just following along with what the Associated Press says is important.
Reporting on groups like ObamaWorks can be part of that effort. That’s why my thanks goes out to Cairns, a web log that has reported on not just one, but two ObamaWorks community volunteering events.
Cairns scooped the big news media on this story. How long will it take for the national wires to catch on? Don’t hold your breath.